|Voucher schools provide competition|
I would like to respond to Barb Neddo’s letter (May 15) in last week’s News Review “Offers Clarification on Voucher Schools.”
Ms. Neddo refers to an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that indicates public schools score better than private schools. The findings are from a small sample in the second year of the voucher program. No attempt is made to statistically analyze the students in the study.Harvard University and the Brookings Institute have made far more exhaustive studies and concluded that African-American students from voucher schools are 24% more likely to attend college and 17% more likely to graduate from high school. The Harvard study rated voucher school students higher in 11 of 12 categories.
You will find articles that favor both sides which is why I didn’t bring any up in my letter (May 1) and commented that “Private voucher schools are usually better.”
Ms. Neddo wonders why our legislators would spend money on an unproven program. One thing that has been proven: The public schools in the areas the vouchers are being offered have failed. We have thrown more and more money into them with no results.
Ms. Neddo’s letter says parents have a choice where to send their children now with public school open enrollment. Sure, so your choice is public school or public school. Parents living in the large southern Wisconsin cities deserve a better choice. Ms. Neddo pretends to know better than the parents who live down there.
Ms. Neddo thinks that rural districts would not benefit from voucher expansion in urban areas, saying “Our tax dollars would go to urban areas to fund their private schools.” Voucher schools receive roughly $6,500 per student; public schools roughly $11,000 per student. For every voucher student, there will be roughly $4,500 more to spend on public education or maybe to reduce taxes.
One thing for sure — the teachers union will get less money if we have more students in voucher schools. Sadly, that, and fear of competition, is the reason for the opposition.
|Tuesday, May 21, 2013 1:33 PM|